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Wallace goes to boards (28) as Pistons' surge continues

The secret is out about one of the league's best dirty-work players.

Ben Wallace set an NBA season high with 28 rebounds, scored 13 and blocked 6 shots as the Pistons beat the Celtics 109-101 Sunday.

"This was definitely his coming-out party," said Joe Dumars, the Pistons' president and former shooting guard. "People saw what he's been doing for us for two years."

Each time Wallace grabbed a rebound, a white T-shirt with a red R was handed out to fans in the fourth row behind the scorers' table. "I wanted to wrap those T-shirts all around the arena," Wallace said, grinning. "But I think they were running out, so I slowed down."

The Pistons have won 22 of 30 games, and five of six.

"It's a great story to talk about how we don't have respect, but we're not worried about that," Jerry Stackhouse said. "People will catch on sooner or later."

Stackhouse had 30 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds and Cliff Robinson had 20 points and 7 assists. Chucky Atkins added 17 for Detroit, which kept its comfortable lead in the Central Division and stayed close to New Jersey for the best record in the East.

Paul Pierce scored 35 and Antoine Walker had 28 for Boston, which has lost four of five.

"We can't get too down about this," Pierce said. "But we also can't give Ben Wallace get 28 rebounds. He's a terror, he just attacks. He's a great player, and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves."

Detroit took command with a 15-0 run in the third quarter for a 79-66 lead. The Celtics scored nine in a row midway through the fourth to pull within eight, but couldn't get closer than five.

Detroit got off to a great start and never looked sluggish despite returning from a five-game road trip less than 30 hours before tipoff.

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